Creativity. Imagination. Problem-solving. These are, I believe, the tenets of innovation, and they are all in evidence in this issue, our eighth annual to explore the subject. To be sure, innovation is a term that is often over-used. So in selecting the people, projects, and products—and even the authors to pen the articles—we were mindful of how each met the three criteria listed above. I think you'll find discussions in these pages that are a reflection of our times and that represent the issues and topics that are of concern for the lighting community.
We start with a review of Lightfair, which by all accounts was a huge success. The trade show is a perfect example of how an organization can continue to explore new avenues to make an event continually relevant and engaging for its attendees and exhibitors. A review of the numerous winning projects from the award programs presented at the show—the GE Edison, Cooper Source, and IALD Awards—innovation is in clear evidence via their designs.
Some discussions prove more challenging; they are innovative not so much for their resolution (or lack thereof), but for the process and dialogue that they generate. The credentialing discussion is one such example, and Jim Benya takes a look at these issues in our From the Archive column.
Some figures are so influential that they continue to impact the design profession long after they are gone. Our review of the recent monograph about Richard Kelly is a reminder that there is so much more that we can learn about this pioneer of lighting design. Following that article is our report from the Milan Furniture Fair and Euroluce, the premier breeding ground for international design talent. From furnishings to light fixtures, creative exploration of form and material is what design is all about.
"Innovation knows no scale, no boundary, no cost."
Material investigations are one of those areas that designers always wish they had more time to explore. The tactile quality of materials, familiar and unfamiliar, unleashes a kind of raw curiosity that provides designers with creative freedom. Blaine Brownell, who has made materials the focus of his professional work, looks at how Japanese designers have mastered material explorations, many of which encompass light as an essential element.
In our cover story, we look at how the role of prototypes is redefining retail design and the integral role that architectural lighting plays in the development of these concepts. It's not about a specific lighting solution, per se, but one that can be adapted to multiple contexts.
Our other feature story showcases a Berlin pediatric clinic, where the designers look at the way in which light is more than just illumination. Instead, it becomes the foundation for creating a complete environment and atmosphere that benefits both its patients and its medical personnel. The design is a direct outcome of the interdisciplinary makeup of its designers.
Finally, in the One-on-One interview, architectural lighting speaks with Jonathan Speirs, one of the lighting community's brightest stars, and who has the ability to transform the worlds of architecture and lighting into one.
Innovation knows no scale, no boundary, no cost. I offer these words as a preview of sorts, a way of connecting the editorial dots, as I challenge myself and you, our readers, to think beyond the obvious, to think outside the box.